Browser Extension

How to make Safari for Mac’s status bar more minimal and useful

I like my browsers minimal. Safari for Mac admittedly boasts an aesthetically pleasing, clutter-free interface. But if there’s one thing I’ve always hated about Apple’s browsers, it’s that status bar at the bottom of the Safari window.

Though it conveniently lets you know where a URL will take you, once turned on it annoyingly just sits there whether you actually need it or not. I prefer Google’s approach better: Chrome’s status bar discreetly shows only when hovering over a URL.

Wouldn’t it be great if Safari had a similar only-on-hover status bar? That’s what Minimal Status Bar, a new browser extension by San Francisco-based developer Visnu Pitiyanuvath, does for you.

Hands-free ‘OK Google’ search comes to your Mac

Yours truly is a huge fan of Google Now so it goes without saying I’ve long been yearning for that kind of hands-free voice searching on my Mac desktops and notebooks. Available via Google’s free Search app for the iPhone and iPad since November 5, the cool feature dutifully listens to the ‘OK Google’ keyword which initiates a voice search. It’s severely crippled, too, as ‘OK Google’ only works if the Search app is running, as opposed to the always-on implementation on the Nexus 5 and Moto X.

Blame it on Apple’s strict policy that prohibits third-parties from listening to the microphone input in the background. Well, there are no such restrictions on Macs (yet) and Google has taken advantage of the fact and released a nice little extension for its browser allowing you to talk to Google (when you’re using Chrome) hands-free, no typing required…